I Can Prove God Is Real
Freddy And Lou

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "freddy and    lou"
Subject: Re: defindig god
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2000 7:06 PM

Einstein did not believe in "God" but used the word god as a metaphor for the universe and the orderliness he saw therein.

    "It was, of course, a lie what you read about
    my religious convictions, a lie which is being
    systematically repeated. I do not believe in a
    personal God and I have never denied this but
    have expressed it clearly. If something is in me
    which can be called religious then it is the
    unbounded admiration for the structure of the
    world so far as our science can reveal it."
                -- 1954, from Albert Einstein: The
                    Human Side,
edited by Helen
                    Dukas and Banesh Hoffman,
                    Princeton University Press

    "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes
    the objects of his creation, whose purposes are
    modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but
    a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe
    that the individual survives the death of his body,
    although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through
    fear or ridiculous egotisms."
            -- obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955

Besides, if Einstein were (for example) a racist, would that make racism right? Henry Ford was a racist and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but that does not mean that I should faithfully adhere to those elements of their philosophies that I find abhorrent.

The whole point of Freethought is to come up with my own ethic and philosophy and to avoid believing a proposition simply because someone like Einstein (or the Jesus character in the Gospel stories) allegedly said it.

I'm waiting. Nobody has given me any evidence other then the New Testament, and this "evidence" is very biased. Also, the Gospel stories did not attain circulation until at least C.E. 70 at the earliest, after Judaea had been flattened by Rome. Any original followers of a historical Jesus would have been killed off by then.

The Gospels display a fierce pro-Roman bias, suggesting to me that they were never circulated among the Judaeans, but only among the pagan Romans. Because of the time they were circulated (and because of where they were circulated), it is impossible to imagine any Judaeans remaining to dispute the Gospel claims.

Nevertheless, if you are ready to prove that the Jesus described in the Gospels really did exist as described, I am ready to listen to your argument. I've seen a lot of Jesus material, but am always fascinated to learn more and to exercise my skills at assessing historical claims.

I'm ready. First, you must explain to me what you mean when you use the word god. This is necessary so that I know what you are talking about, because that word has no meaning to me right now -- as far as this conversation is concerned. So, describe to me what you mean when you say "god."

If you can show me that a god exists, I will gladly convert to theism for the sake of truthfulness. However, it's only fair that you agree to renounce your faith should you fail to produce a convincing argument for the existence of your god.

What have I claimed that you want me to support? Proof is a tall concept, even in science. I will support any claims I have made on this forum or in my writings or in our FAQ (which is my work). If I cannot support a specific claim, I will retract it and will link from the claim to the retraction.

As for the question, can I prove that Jesus did not exist? No. I never said that he did not exist (nobody can prove a negative existential claim; that is, a claim for the nonexistence of something). I simply don't have any proof that he did. Those claiming that he did exist have some serious work to do, because the argument that he did exist has very little support.

Neither can I prove that no gods exist (as nobody can prove a negative existential claim), and I have never declared that no gods exist. All I am saying, here, is that nobody has ever given me even a weak argument to support their claim that gods exist. If presented with strong arguments that gods exist (arguments that eliminate all counter-arguments), then I will gladly and publicly convert to theism.

Any theist who wishes to be as honest as I am being here ought to agree to renounce theism should he or she fail to bring forth convincing arguments in favor of their claims. Remember, the one making an existential claim must prove the claim's truthfulness. The one listening need simply listen and ask questions; the listener is under no obligation to disprove the existential claim (as this cannot be done for any existential claim).

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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